Summary and Analysis
Part 8: The Word Shaker:
The Bread Eaters
Two more parades of Jews come through Molching, and both times Liesel looks for Max, hoping that he's not among them. On one of these occasions, Liesel and Rudy ride ahead of the parade, into a forest of pine trees. They scatter bread along the road and then hide and watch. The Jews spot the bread quickly and eat; it takes the soldiers a moment to realize what's happening. They tell their prisoners to stop. One of the soldiers sees Liesel and takes off after her. Rudy runs in another direction. Liesel gets kicked from behind and shouted at, but otherwise gets away and meets back up with Rudy.
This chapter shows how Liesel and Rudy have changed from thieves who steal into bandits who give to those who need it most. Despite Rudy's continual hunger, he's willing to give his bread away to the Jews, whose suffering is so intense. Liesel's search for Max shows how conflicted she is, too, how she hopes to see him in one of the parades so that she knows he's alive, but also how she does not want to see him because that would mean he'd been caught.